Soot and Puff Backs

Soot by definition is a result of incomplete combustion.

In the industry of restoration why is this important. Restoration companies need to know what the cause of the soot was. Is it a result of materials originating from carbon, electrical, plastic or protein.

Each of which will have some common remediation strategies but with some very different techniques.

Carbon based soot: a restorer can typically wash and deodorize with maximum results depending on the materials affected and the distance away from the initial source.

Electrical fires tend to be very odorous and require cleaning in conjunction with deodorization.

Plastic leave an oily residue since they originate from petroleum. This soot smears when not removed correctly with proper cleaning and remediation techniques.

Protein based soot tends to give a restorer the most difficultly because of the color of the soot (greyish – similar to regular house hold dust).Another challenge with protein is oil transfers in the soot and can be very greasy in nature and odorous. When remediating a loss of this nature chemicals based with degreaser and deodorizers are the product of choice for the restorer. In most cases a soot of this nature requires sealing and painting of walls and ceilings depending of the proximity to the source.

A restorer has many considerations when dealing with the oil from fires resulting in soot:

What was the source(s)

What is the distance from the source.

What materials have been affected? (porous or non-porous)

What chemicals if any are needed to be used.

What environmental controls to use? (AFD- Air Filtration Device, Ozone, Hydroxyl generators, thermo fogging, fresh air from the outside, etc.)

One major consideration is air quality. Air surrounds everything and needs to be addressed. Air exchanges, deodorization, air scrubbing using HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) rated air scrubbers can remove soot particulate from the air as well as odor when used in conjunction with charcoal filters. Cleaning of ventilation systems if unit was in operation during the event.

Please refer to an expert when soot residues are to be removed as secondary damage can easily occur if not restored professionally.

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